Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s vital role in saving the life of a young electric shock victim showcased in upcoming “Helicopter ER” episode.
Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) played a crucial role in saving the life of Fraser Bennett, a then 22-year-old machine worker from Bridlington, following a devastating workplace accident. Fraser’s harrowing experience and remarkable recovery will be highlighted in an upcoming episode of the acclaimed TV series “Helicopter ER,” as YAA’s critical care team demonstrates their exceptional medical expertise during a high-stakes mission.
Whilst conducting routine maintenance checks on a tall piece of machinery at his workplace in Sherburn, Fraser was suddenly gripped to the machine by a powerful electric current. The shockwave sent him into immediate cardiac arrest. His colleague, realising the severity of the situation, promptly aided in freeing him from the machine, resulting in a 6-foot fall from the ladder on which he stood, before initiating life-saving CPR and called 999 for help.
The critical care team at Yorkshire Air Ambulance were alerted to the incident following a call from a local paramedic at the scene, who required urgent on-scene support. Responding from their Nostell Air Base in Wakefield, which was 50 miles away and a 20-minute flight, the YAA crew, including Paramedics Pete and Andy, along with Dr Neil Sambridge, raced against time to reach the rural industrial unit in North Yorkshire.
Upon arrival, the land ambulance crews had already restarted Fraser’s heart, which had stopped beating, using a defibrillator, achieving what is medically known as a ‘Return of Spontaneous Circulation’ (ROSC).
While the primary focus of the medical team was Fraser’s cardiac condition, they also assessed the significant electrical burns on Fraser’s arm caused by the shock, as well as a bloody nose, which were additional points of concern. Excessive levels of carbon dioxide in Fraser’s blood were also a concerning sign, as it indicated the potential for brain damage due to the time he spent in cardiac arrest.
Dr. Neill made a critical decision at the scene to induce a controlled medical coma through a rapid sequence induction (RSI) procedure, essential to Fraser’s survival. At the time, Fraser’s risk of death was exceptionally high, and the precision of the procedure was paramount.
The episode will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the intricate RSI procedure, which involved administering a sequence of drugs to ensure Fraser’s airways remained open, his brain was protected, and he was kept in a stable, controlled medical coma.
Fraser was swiftly transported by air to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, a major trauma centre, for further treatment. Before leaving the scene, Dr. Neill commended the other emergency service crews for their swift actions in restarting Fraser’s heart, stating that the initial defibrillation shock likely saved his life.
Remarkably, Fraser awoke from his medically induced coma just three days later. Eighteen months on, he continues on his journey of recovery, learning to walk again and regain his mobility, speech, and confidence.
Fraser shared, “It was just a routine maintenance job, a general check of the machine. I was up a ladder, and the next thing I knew, I was waking up in a state of confusion, still in shock when I learned what had happened to me. It was an incredibly worrying time for my family; they were prepared for me to wake up with brain damage. However, to my relief, I woke up, and I was quite functional, I’d say. During my recovery, I found myself in a dark place initially; I didn’t want to leave the house, and I avoided socialising. But I am slowly getting back to my usual self.”
He went on to express his gratitude to the team that saved his life, saying, “I owe my deepest thanks to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s critical care team for saving my life. I also want to extend my sincere appreciation to the emergency services who were the first on the scene and quickly defibrillated me when my heart stopped. Together they have granted me a second chance at life.”
Since the accident, Fraser has made a remarkable recovery. He has successfully returned to work through a phased approach and embarked on a new project, restoring a 1990 Nissan 300ZX car. This has given Fraser a newfound confidence and a profound sense of purpose.
With the project car now restored to its former glory and having successfully passed its MOT, Fraser is not just looking forward to new adventures but is embracing life with renewed enthusiasm and excitement.